US actor Alan Thicke, best known for Growing Pains, has died aged 69.
He suffered a heart attack while playing hockey with his son, Carter.
The Canadian-born Thicke played work-from-home psychiatrist Jason Seaver on Growing Pains from 1985 – 1992. His affable and thoughtful dad also featured in two subsequent telemovies, The Growing Pains Movie (2000) and Growing Pains: Return of the Seavers (2004).
“I’m not doing anything Jack Nicholson turned down,” the self-deprecating Thicke once told the Chicago Tribune. “Any part that required a character distanced from myself would have been a reach. But the one thing I’ve always done well at, and I’m most devoted to, is my children.”
LA Times reports he previously found work behind the scenes as a writer and producer for shows such as Fernwood 2 Night and The Richard Pryor Show as well as specials for Olivia Newton-John and Barry Manilow.
He co-wrote theme tunes for Wheel of Fortune, Facts of Life and Diff’rent Strokes, the last of which he also sang.
Thicke also hosted talk shows The Alan Thicke Show, and Thicke of the Night. He also had a recurring role in How I Met Your Mother, appeared in the “reality sitcom” about his family life called Unusually Thicke, hosted the game shows Pictionary and Three’s a Crowd, made appearances on Married with Children and had a regular role on Hope and Gloria.
He continued to appear in TV roles through this year, including recent appearances on This Is Us and Fuller House.
“Season 2 Fuller House looking good,” Thicke tweeted this week. “I even like the ones I’m not in! #fullerhouse.”